Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Serbia on three counts related to their rocky group stage loss to Swiss.
Serbia lost Friday’s game 3-2 and were knocked out of the World Cup. They are already the subject of an ongoing investigation for displaying a flag including Kosovo on their nation’s territory in their dressing room before facing Brazil eight days previously; now the governing body has started a new series of cases for incidents that occurred during and around a match where tensions have steadily escalated.
A Fifa statement read: “The Fifa Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Football Association of Serbia due to potential violations of Articles 12 (misconduct of players and officials), 13 (discrimination) and 16 (order and security at matches) of the Fifa disciplinary code related to the incidents during the Serbia-Switzerland clash world Cup match which took place on December 2.
A public announcement in the 77th minute of the match had asked the crowd to refrain from “discriminatory chants and gestures”. An eyewitness later told the Guardian that supporters of Serbia had displays fascist slogans and launched racist chants towards ethnic Albanians at Stadium 974, and claimed to have been attacked by a group of supporters.
Eleven players, including seven Serbs, were cautioned in a match that boiled over after a confrontation involving Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka. He seemed to grab his genitals in front of the Serbia bench after appealing for a second-half penalty, causing anger on both sides to flare up. Xhaka was also involved in a late showdown with Serbian player Nikola Milenkovic which sparked a similar brawl.
The Guardian understands that no proceedings will be opened against the Swiss football association in relation to what happened.
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